Monkey on a Stick on the Pilates Cadillac is also an exercise you can do on the Guillotine. I prefer Monkey on a Stick on the Guillotine myself but most of us don't have a Guillotine so the Cadillac it is! This exercise is not one you want to learn your big backbends on. It's one you want to challenge them with. And then you can see, or at least feel, where you lose your strength and hang out in your flexibility. Do one or two working out the choreography and then let your flow go. You'll find more strength in that.
Stand strongly through your thass, reach arms from your back and flow!
Stand on your Cadillac facing the Roll Back bar end. Make sure you have removed your Roll back bar. Hold the top rung with both hands as wide as you can and then place your heels together and balls of your feet apart. Your heels will leave the mat as you do this exercise but the balls of your feet will remain rooted down. Before you begin be sure your shoulders are on your back so you don't hang off your arms. And your legs are reaching down from your thass to remain out of your lower back.
Pull your waist back and find your "up stretch" "elephant," "double leg stretch" shape. Like a sail on a ship but stronger! Then bend your elbows and pull your heart Up and Forward past the rung of the Cadillac and out the front. Make sure you are finding your two-way stretch here. Then bend your knees and pull yourself back to your start position. Repeat 2-3x and then reverse directions. Bend your knees and pull yourself forward to be the sail the other way. Feel High Bridge on the Reformer here. Then bend your elbows and pull yourself past the top rung and back into position to repeat 2-3x.
Be sure to check out more of my Pilates Cadillac exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Cadillac training!